Hymnathons: Episcopal choirs perform marathon-style training events to raise funds

first_img Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Children, as well as adults, participated in a hymnathon fundraiser at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, Washington. The singers covered all 720 hymns in the Episcopal Church’s Hymnal 1982. They stayed seated, had water by their sides and took two snack breaks to help them get through it. Photo: Liz Bartenstein[Episcopal News Service] Fiona Campbell prepared for last weekend’s test of endurance by eating a good breakfast, hydrating and keeping a big water bottle by her side.The Jan. 27 event wasn’t a 26.2-mile race, a running marathon. It was a hymnathon — a test of singing stamina like no other.“It’s going to be a looooooong time,” said Campbell, 20, the week before the fundraising event. Campbell’s been a chorister at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, Washington, since she was 10. To raise money for the Evensong Choir to sing at historical cathedrals in England this summer, choir members sang the first verses of 720 hymns for almost nine hours straight. They had a 15-minute morning break, a one-hour lunch break and a 15-minute afternoon break.Working through the Hymnal 1982, they started with hymn No. 1 at 8 a.m. They also devoted two hours to singing all the verses of the special dedication hymns chosen by donors who gave an extra amount for the honor. To fit it all in, they had two timekeepers to help singers average about 30 seconds a hymn, with the goal to cross the finish line by 6 p.m.Michael Kleinschmidt, the cathedral’s canon musician, was shocked they finished ahead of schedule, by 5:20 p.m.“It was all rather breathless,” Kleinschmidt told Episcopal News Service after the event. “At one point, we all discovered we were breathing rather shallowly. We just weren’t taking deep clean breaths. After an hour or two, we stopped, stood up and took a deep, clean breath, and some of us said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m dizzy.’ ”Michael Kleinschmidt, canon musician at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, played the music that accompanied the 720 hymns during the Jan. 27 hymnathon. Photo: Kevin JohnsonKleinschmidt’s hymnathon idea stemmed from his experience more than a decade ago, when he worked with music director and organist Richard Webster at Trinity Church in Boston. Webster organized hymnathons at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, Illinois, before carrying the idea to Boston in 2005.“Richard is a marathon runner, so he has a special kind of enthusiasm for this kind of thing. He’s done the Boston Marathon a few times. Oh, yeah, he’s hard core,” Kleinschmidt said.In the same way that hardly anyone, even experienced singers, tries to sing for nine hours straight, few people, even runners, go the full marathon distance.The marathon was inspired by the legend of a Greek messenger who raced 40 kilometers, or about 25 miles, from the site of Marathon to Athens in 490 B.C. with the news of an important victory over an invading army of Persians. The exhausted messenger collapsed and died after making his announcement, according to The History Channel. By the 1921 Olympics, the standard marathon distance was 26.2 miles.While running a marathon typically takes three to six hours to complete, this hymnathon far outlasted the time that even the slowest marathoner spends on the race course. And no one died completing this endurance feat.“I was amazed how well everyone’s energy held up through the thing,” Kleinschmidt said.They looked at it as a practice run for the hectic singing schedule they’ll have during the British trip.Choir pilgrimages to England are a tradition during the summer, when U.S. choirs can fill in for British cathedral choirs, which typically take breaks during the busy tourist months of July and August, Kleinschmidt said. At St. Mark’s, choral director Rebekah Gilmore’s Evensong Choir is comprised of about 35 selected singers, from 12-year-old children to adults in their 60s, Kleinschmidt said. Choir members are required to sight-read and sing advanced music.“Being able to dip our feet into this ancient river of sung prayer is a transformative experience for these young children. It’s really life changing,” Kleinschmidt said.Hymnathons are fundraising endurance tests of the vocal cords that Episcopal choirs are taking from coast to coast.St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, Washington, conducted a hymnathon to raise money for the Evensong Choir to sing in England this summer. Participants sang all 720 hymns in the hymnal during the nine-hour event. Photo: Liz BartensteinKleinschmidt organized his first hymnathon in Portland, Oregon, which raised more than $22,000. His goal for the St. Mark’s choir is $35,000. Fundraising isn’t over.In September, a hymnathon at Christ’s Church in Rye, New York, raised $7,798 for the choir’s pilgrimage to sing in England in August.Fundraising can take all sorts of creative forms, but a hymnathon is quite a lofty goal in itself, money aside, said Deanne Falzone, mother of Josette, 12, a member of the senior choristers at St. Mark’s and one of the youngest members of the Evensong Choir. The Evensong Choir is a hand-picked, professional-grade choir of older children and adults.“It seems like a pretty big feat to do,” Josette’s mother said. “There’s been just so much energy from so many people in the choirs.”Most recently revised in 1982, the Hymnal of the Episcopal Church offers 720 service hymns plus liturgical music. Some hymns hark back to centuries-old monastic chants. Others hail from more modern times.The Office of Latino/Hispanic Ministries is in the final stages of compiling a cancionero, or songbook, as an affordable, accessible Spanish-language songbook for use throughout the Episcopal Church.The latest version of the Hymnal of the Episcopal Church was revised in 1982 and has 720 songs to be used for services. Photo: Kevin JohnsonA seventh-grade home-schooled student, Josette soaks in the social aspects of choir activities, as well as the music, and last week she said she was looking forward to the hymnathon.“I think it’s probably going to be the most awesome singing experience I’ve ever had,” she told ENS by phone.Throughout this daylong choral challenge, Kleinschmidt and the choir members uncovered some hymn treasures and others that were, shall we say, less appealing.“I think everyone found some new favorite hymns, and some new ones that we hope never to sing again,” Campbell said with a laugh. “Some of the worst culprits were ‘adapted’ gospel songs, as we had suspected.”While some of them would look at each other and laugh during the hymns that they’d have preferred stayed buried, several singers jotted down some of their favorites to remember for later, Kleinschmidt said.“I’ve used this hymnal since 1990, and I’m still finding new treasures in it,” he said, recalling hymns 383 and 384, the first a well-known version of “Fairest Lord Jesus,” the other, a lesser-known rendition with a beautiful melody. “The melody climbs higher and higher and is a beautiful pairing with the words. That’s a little gem I discovered.”A dog was one of the supportive elements that helped singers get through the nine hours of singing during the hymnathon fundraiser on Jan. 27. Photo: Kevin JohnsonSo, how did the singers feel about crossing their “race” finish line?“We had compared this to running,” Campbell said. “And there was a similar sort of effect where you expect it to be grueling and difficult, but in reality, the adrenaline gets you through and honestly feels great.“Overall, I frankly could not be more pleased.”— Amy Sowder is a special correspondent for the Episcopal News Service and a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn. She can be reached at [email protected] Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Tags Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Knoxville, TN Associate Rector Columbus, GA The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ January 29, 2018 at 10:07 pm It must have been a wonderful experience for those present to listen to the inspiring hymns. Were the hymns recorded? Is there a way those that were not present could listen to the hymns? Rector Tampa, FL This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Director of Music Morristown, NJ Hymnathons: Episcopal choirs perform marathon-style training events to raise funds Seattle’s hymnathon ‘athletes’ finish faster than expected Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Shreveport, LA Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Comments are closed. Submit a Job Listing January 30, 2018 at 9:49 am This grand project sounds a bit like the singings that we shape-note singers enjoy. Singing from (usually) The Sacred Harp, we sing all day (multiple days for conventions) but not from 8:00 till 6:00. That is an example of musical athleticism that commands real attention. As one of the singers remarks, an all-day singing has a way of impressing the hymns upon a singer’s heart. Some of these singers, having established their endurance and (probably) their sight-reading skills, might like to attend a Sacred Harp singing to learn a well established American tradition of marathon singing. January 31, 2018 at 1:24 am Emeka, You are in luck! The event was live streamed, and the footage was archived and available to watch at http://www.saintmarks.org/hymnathon. Part 4 includes the dedications with anthems and full hymns. As a spectator, I will say it was really cool to hear the liturgical year played out in order all at once and to hear the differences in two hymns with same lyric set to different music side-by-side. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Submit an Event Listing Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Belleville, IL Comments (3) Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Collierville, TN Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Albany, NY Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Press Release Service Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Hopkinsville, KY Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Submit a Press Release Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Rector Washington, DC By Amy SowderPosted Jan 29, 2018 Malinda Snow says: Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Jennifer Babuca says: TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Youth Minister Lorton, VA Emeka Nwachuku says: Liturgy & Music Rector Bath, NC Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Featured Eventslast_img read more

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Bertha Reaches Hurricane Status on Her March Up Atlantic

first_imgTropical Storm Bertha became 2014’s second hurricane on Monday as the low-pressure system strengthened with 75 mph sustained winds.Forecasters predict a track that will take Bertha over the open water of the Atlantic Ocean hundreds of miles from Ocean City. The storm won’t bring wind, rain or clouds to Ocean City, but it likely will send waves — starting Tuesday afternoon and continuing through Wednesday.‘We won’t get bombing surf from her, just fun surf,” Ocean City’s Heritage Surf Shop reports in its surf forecast.Most surf forecasts call for clean 3- to 4-foot waves on Tuesday afternoon, and 4- to 5-foot waves on Wednesday.The hurricane was off the coast of Georgia on Monday night. It is expected to lose strength and hurricane status as it moves north, clearing the Outer Banks on Tuesday and passing Ocean City on Wednesday.Light offshore winds are predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday — which creates ideal conditions for clean surf. High tide will be late afternoon on the ocean beaches.The increased surf would increase the risk of undertows and rip currents for swimmers, who are always asked to swim only at beaches protected by the Ocean City Beach Patrol and never after the OCBP goes off duty.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Mayo start with victory

first_img Press Association But the Kingdom suddenly began to carry a threat at the end of the opening quarter. Darran O’Sullivan set up James O’Donoghue, but his shot was superbly saved by David Clarke. In the 17th minute, O’Donoghue finally did find the net, but the home side responded with points from Doherty and Kevin McLoughlin. They were level on 0-9 to 1-6 at the interval, but Mayo full back Ger Cafferkey repeatedly frustrated Kerry’s attacking efforts, and they were unable to break down a tenacious Mayo attack. And the home side saw off their opponents with a late flourish which saw Enda Varley come off the bench to shoot a couple of points. The Kingdom failed to score in the second half, having had midfielder Anthony Maher sent off for a second booking in the 49th minute. Kerry’s only point in the first 15 minutes came from Michael O’Donoghue, as Mayo forged ahead with four Jason Doherty points. center_img Mayo opened their NFL Division One campaign with a 0-15 to 1-6 win over 14-man Kerry at Castlebar.last_img read more

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GSG elects executive board

first_imgThe structure of GSG. Design by Samantha Chiu.Graduate students account for more than 50 percent of the student population at USC, yet Graduate Student Government is often much less visible on campus than its undergraduate counterpart. It tackles many similar issues and faces many of the same challenges, but because of the nature of the graduate student experience, GSG has a much different process from USG.GSG held elections on Feb. 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Radisson Hotel at USC. Unlike USG, in which the entire student body votes for officers, the GSG Senate elects GSG officers. Elections are only for three positions: president, vice president and director of Health Sciences campus.The president of GSG serves four primary functions: representing GSG to the administration and other university committees; maintaining and supporting internal programs and staff; managing the GSG office and administrative budget; and representing GSG to external organizations.The vice president is responsible for administering the GSG Travel Grant program, acting as chief of staff for the executive board, planning weekly meetings, supporting the GSG residents and running the GSG Special Projects Committee.The director of Health Sciences campus represents HSC at the university level, runs the HSC Concerns Committee, oversees and supports the HSC Governing Council and serves as a liaison for HSC to the University Park campus.Representatives from each graduate program make up the GSG Senate. Each program receives one representative for each 2 percent of the total graduate student population in their program, up to six senators. For example, if a program’s population made up 10 percent of the total graduate population, it would have five senators. Each program can decide their own process for selecting senators.Travis Brashears, a second-year law student, is the current director of Elections and Recruitment. He is in charge of organizing the elections and recruiting new GSG members.“The hard part about our job is that because all of the grad programs are so siloed and so different, we really don’t have the ability to know exactly what’s going on and what the graduate students need,” Brashears said. “That’s really what the Senate does — we try to find as many ways possible to express what their concerns are.”The executive board of GSG is divided into departments, each led by its own director. These departments include areas like community service, campus affairs and finance. After the election, the current director, along with the current and incoming elected officers, will select the directors. Once these nominations have been made, the senate has two weeks to pull candidates before a confirmation vote of the full Senate.In order to be eligible for executive board positions, a student must serve for at least one full semester in one of the following positions: GSG Senator, executive board member, GSG committee member, University Committee member or USC-recognized graduate student group executive board member.Brashears said that one of the unique challenges for GSG that directly affects his job is a lack of student involvement.“Grad students are very busy,” Brashears said. “Their schedules don’t really work well with having student government and other obligations on campus. Sometimes it’s hard to find people at all. So that’s the big concern — trying to get the word out and get people involved.”Students can get involved in GSG in many different ways. All Senate and executive board meetings have an open-door policy. Students can either drop in at meetings or give advance notice to have time set aside to address the full Senate. They can also contact their respective senators directly about any issues or concerns. If students want to be considered for one of the three elected positions, they must have a candidate statement and application prepared by the time of the election.Brashears stressed the importance of student involvement, even for those students not directly involved with GSG. Because the graduate experience differs so greatly between schools, senators rely heavily on feedback from constituents.“The hard part about our job is that because all of the grad programs are so siloed and so different, we really don’t have the ability to know exactly what’s going on and what the graduate students need … we try to find as many ways possible to express what their concerns are. We then look into finding ways to improve the experience of the students,” Brashears said.The topics that GSG addresses vary greatly, depending on the specific needs of graduate students. GSG has worked to create an intercampus shuttle between the Health Sciences campus and University Park. They have also passed bicycle safety resolutions and are currently looking into creating designated smoking areas on campus.Brashears also said that there has been a renewed push for greater cooperation between USG and GSG recently.“Historically, there’s been a big division,” he said. “We share support staff, but our president and USG’s president have made a big push trying to get more intertwined. It’s tough because most of the big events that are thrown at school are done every year. and they’ve been historically paid for by one group or another, historically attended by one group or another, and so it’s tough sometimes to come together.”Though USG and GSG generally operate independently, they cooperatively planned last year’s Green Initiative with over 45 different environment-focused programs.Yohey Tokumitsu, a second-year doctorate of education student, is the current president of GSG. He praised the freedom the university gives GSG to address challenges facing graduate students.“The opportunities that I get — I sit on the Board of Governors, I meet Trustees. The university gives us a huge voice in what happens in the university,” he said.last_img read more

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ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard: Match grades, what worked, what didn’t, what’s next

first_imgJoin DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearHere are the G1 Supercard match grades and a recap courtesy of SN’s Steven Muehlhausen.ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard Pre-Show GradesHonor RumbleMuehlhausen: A fun way to get the talent that wasn’t going to be on the main card on the show at such a historical event. What happened was a standard battle royal mixed in with a giant surprise at the end when Japanese legend The Great Muta was the last guy out, as he received a loud ovation from the crowd at MSG. The final four were thought to be Muta, Jushin Liger, TK O’Ryan, and Vinny Marseglia. Muta threw out O’Ryan and Liger tossed Marseglia over the top rope. Fans were losing their minds when Muta and Liger stared each other down. They exchanged a couple holds and then Kenny King, who many thought had been eliminated, came back into the ring and threw out the Japanese legends to earn a future shot at the Ring of Honor heavyweight title.Grade: CWhat’s next:  King gets a crack at the winner of the ROH heavyweight title match between Jay Lethal, Matt Taven and Marty Scurill.ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard main card gradesWill Ospreay vs. Jeff CobbMuehlhausen: Couldn’t ask for a better start by going with Ospreay and Cobb and the finish was surprising.A loud ovation for Ospreay before the match began. Early on, you could see the story was going to be the power of Cobb — like when he performed a one-arm suplex from the middle turnbuckle and was holding Ospreay in the air for over 10 seconds — and the aerial attack of Ospreay, as the height Ospreay gets on his moves from the ropes is the highest in wrestling today.For a man near 300 pounds, Cobb is very light on his feet, evidenced by a standing moonsault halfway through the bout.The finish occurred when Ospreay tried for an OsCutter. Cobb blocked it and tossed the Englishman into the turnbuckle. Ospreay, though, landed on the middle ropes and this time around, connected on the OsCutter.Cobb and Ospreay were on the top rope when Cobb hit a super Tour of the Islands. Cobb went back to the well one more time and did another Tour of the Islands for the win to add to the NEVER Openweight championship in addition to his ROH TV title.Grades: B+What’s next:  Cobb will face Taichi for the NEVER title in the near future.Dalton Castle vs. RushMuehlhausen: Interesting way to go as Rush came out quickly and hit a drop kick to send Castle into the corner. Moments later, Rush hit the Bull Horns drop kick in the corner to win in just 20 seconds, much to the surprise of the crowd.The stunning finish was the right call. Rush continues to look strong, as ROH tries to build the Mexican star’s name in the United States.Grade: C-What’s next: Hard to see where they go with Rush. A program with one of the losers of the world title match wouldn’t be the worst idea.Mayu Iwatani vs. Kelly KleinMuehlhausen: An underwhelming match to say the least and the fans let them know that by sitting on their hands. Beyond a cross body block on the outside by Iwatani, a lot of the ladies’ moves were slow. Iwatani went for a moonsault, and Klein got out of the way. Klein clotheslined Iwatani nearly out of her boots. Then, Klein hit two K-Powers to win her second Women of Honor championship.Grade: DWhat’s next: After the match, the debuting Angelina Love and Velvet Sky along with Mandy Leon were with Klein in the ring when Leon attacked the new champion from behind and left her laying. From what happened, a Klein-Leon should be on the horizon.Bully Ray vs. Flip GordonMuehlhausen: Originally, Ray was supposed to take on Juice Robinson. But the former WWE, WCW and ECW tag team champion beat up Robinson in the locker room at the start of the event and was declared unfit to wrestle.A pleasant surprise of Gordon replacing Robinson in the New York City Street Fight to finish off their feud. It would have been nice, though, to have Ray and Gordon go one-on-one instead of it looking like a six-man tag team match with Silas Young and Shane Taylor helping Ray and running out, and Robinson and Mark Haskins at the aid of Gordon.Ray powerbombed Gordon through a table. Haskins and Robinson grabbed Ray from ringside and gave him a low blow. Haskins performed the Wassup spot to Ray and Gordon and covered Bully to win the match with all three of them announced as the winners.The action wasn’t bad, but it was too confusing because you had no idea what was going on in there and who was facing who. Hardcore matches should be simple without having to think about what it is going on.Grade: CWhat’s next: Hopefully, this means Gordon can move into the TV title picture with Jeff Cobb and inch towards the world title by the end of the year. Gordon has a good look, is becoming a better wrestler each time he’s out there and has an excellent connection with the fans. A recipe for a future world champion. Dragon Lee vs. Bandido vs. Taiji Ishimori Muehlhausen: Best match on the show even it went nine minutes. How do you give three of the best wrestlers in the world only nine minutes? Pretty ridiculous that these guys didn’t get at least double that amount of time.Due to the time constraints, all three guys came out firing off their aerial maneuvers to the delight of the MSG crowd, who were into it from the get-go. We saw flips, moonsaults, hurricanranas, and dives. You name the dangerous high spot, Lee, Bandido, and Ishimori did it.The finishing sequence happened when Lee executed a sit-out powerbomb style on Bandido to pin him and win the belt.A miscarriage of justice was done here. Lee, Bandido, and Oshimori were on their way to a classic, and their legs were cut out from under them. Grade: A-What’s next:  The victory should set Lee up to face Hiromu Takahashi when he returns from his neck injury that was caused by Lee in their match last July.Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa vs. PCO and Brody King vs. Evil and Sanada vs. Jay Briscoe and Mark BriscoeMuehlhausen: The match placement hurt this one and the fact, like the last match, that it was way too short.  It was also way too close from the street fight about 20 minutes beforehand. The eight men did nothing wrong. Everything they did was crisp, solid and looked believable. Quite surprising at the age of 51, PCO is still doing all of these crazy spots when he did a somersault off the top rope onto the ring apron to connect on poor Mark Briscoe. Tonga and Loa picked up PCO and powerbombed him over the rope and to a padded floor. The two members of The Bullet Club shifted their focus to King, as they hit the super powerbomb to win the match and add the ROH tag team titles to their IWGP straps.Grade: C+What’s next:  Wouldn’t mind seeing this matchup again for the ROH gold as long as it’s given more time.Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Hiroshi TanahashiMuehlhausen: The crowd loved Tanahashi. A very good match that like the previous two was cut short right when Sabre and Tanahashi were getting into a groove. From the looks of things, the final three bouts are going to get a ton of time. Tanahashi exemplified why he’s one of the best in the business by knowing how to adapt to all types of different styles. He did it here by using Sabre’s bread and butter, which is mat wrestling and trying a variety of submissions.A unique and surprise ending when Sabre had Tanahashi wrapped like a pretzel and to the shock of the crowd, the Japanese superstar verbally tapped out. Sabre retains the British heavyweight championship.Would have loved to see this go another 15 minutes, as a good story was being told between the two. Grade:  B+What’s next:  Hard to see where Sabre is going. He’s one of the guys who is right outside the top tier in New Japan. Wouldn’t mind seeing Sabre getting into a program with new IWGP Intercontinental champion Kota Ibushi.Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota IbushiMuehlhausen: At this point, this was the best match of the night.Naito and Ibushi put it all on the line and showed a little bit of everything to the pleasure of the fans. They brawled, performed aerial moves and even a little bit of chain wrestling. Every move executed by both guys meant something. No wasted motion whatsoever which got the people emotionally invested the entire time. Naito controlled the match by focusing on Ibushi and setting him up for the Destino. Naito nailed the Destino, but Ibushi kicked out to a giant roar. Incensed, Naito went for Destino one more time, but Ibushi hit two knees, and Naito kicked out. Ibushi hits a powerbomb, but Naito kicked out again. With the title within his grasp. Ibushi connects with the Kamegoye to win the Intercontinental title for the first time.Grade: AWhat’s next: As stated above, an Ibushi-Sabre program would be a thing of beauty.Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven vs. Marty ScurllMuehlhausen: A better than I expected ladder match from these three. They worked hard, but the crowd didn’t know who to root for. I’m shocked they didn’t get behind Lethal and Scurll since they are considered the bigger stars. When Taven walked out, the crowd made it abundantly clear that they wanted him to lose by receiving no reaction while walking to the ring. The use of the ladder was well done and evoked in the right situations, unlike many matches where it’s applied more often than it needs to be.After Scurll suplexed Taven onto a couple of ladders, Lethal hit the Lethal Injection on Scurll. A few moments later, Lethal climbed a humongous ladder and dropped a thunderous elbow on Taven through a table to a great reaction from the MSG crowd. It comes down Taven and Lethal on top of a tall purple ladder. Taven was inches away from grabbing the title from the hook above the ladder, but Lethal stopped him. They exchanged heavy shots until Taven shoved the belt into Lethal’s face. The move sent Lethal crashing onto another ladder, and Taven snatched the championship to win the ROH championship for the first time.The crowd HATED the finish. They wanted anyone, but Taven walking out on top of the ROH mountain. Taven’s good in the ring, but something needs to change with him, as the fans aren’t buying him. To be a successful world champion and wrestler overall, you need to have a reason to care about the character. Ring of Honor needs to explain that going forward or it’s going to be a bumpy road for the next few months.Grade: BWhat’s next: Since Lethal had a lengthy title reign, the program with him and Taven should continue for the next couple months.Jay White vs. Kazuchika OkadaMuehlhausen: Best match of the show and the weekend so far. It was flawless execution from Okada and White. Okada came out to a rock star reaction and White received a loud chorus of boos. The crowd gave it a big match feel before Okada and White even locked up. The story told is one not often done in the U.S., but one told in Japan quite often where you have a slow build to where when it gets to the latter part of the match and you have everyone on the edge of their seats. The heel tendencies by White were fantastic. Whether it’s going up to the top turnbuckle to pose after performing a move or escaping from the clutches of Okada, the crowd eats it up and boos him intensely.Around the 25-minute mark, White tries for a Blade Runner, but Okada hits two successive Rainmakers. White kicked out at 2 9/10 to the amazement of the crowd. A great spot there. White got up and finally hit the Blade Runner, but cannot cover Okada. They rose to their knees and exchanged a series of blistering forearms. White’s manager, Gedo, tried to interfere, but got thwarted by the referee. That allowed White to hit Okada with a low blow. After a series of quick reversals, Okada blasts White with his customary high drop kick. White was kicking Okada, but the former wouldn’t let go of his wrist and hit a Rainmaker. Okada hits another Rainmaker, a spinning tombstone piledriver and one final Rainmaker to win his fifth IWGP heavyweight championship. Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling had the spotlight during WrestleMania weekend Saturday night, live from a sold-out Madison Square Garden with a fantastic G1 Supercard.And every match delivered, meaning that WrestleMania 35 on Sunday night has big shoes to fill. Okada is the face of New Japan and having him regain the gold on your biggest show to date in the U.S. was the correct move.Grade:  A+What’s next: That’s the million dollar question and it’s hard to answer considering what happened on the show. If NJPW can agree to a deal to bring back either Chris Jericho or Kenny Omega, then that should be the direction to go.last_img read more

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